In Group F’s second round of the CAF World Cup qualifiers, Gambia will face Ivory Coast at the Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium in Tanzania on Monday afternoon.
Despite starting their campaign with a 3-2 defeat to Burundi, Gambia, under Tom Saintfiet’s leadership, enters with confidence, having recently qualified for a third consecutive Africa Cup of Nations. They aim to bounce back and showcase improvement as the tournament progresses.
Ivory Coast, at the top of the group after a convincing 9-0 win against Seychelles, boasts a star-studded squad led by coach Jean-Louis Gasset. The Elephants aim to secure another victory and continue their unbeaten streak, showcasing their attacking prowess.
Having faced each other six times, with four wins for Ivory Coast and two for Gambia, this encounter marks their first meeting in a decade. The Elephants, ranked 52nd globally, are favored not only to win this match but also to top the group.
Gambia’s Musa Barrow, who scored in the previous game, is expected to lead the line with support from Assan Ceesay. Colley and Adams will contribute from the left flank and midfield, respectively.
Ivory Coast’s Wilfried Zaha is likely to return, and Nicolas Pepe, absent in the last match, is expected back. Fofana, who scored last week, might get the nod, while Konate could move to the bench.
Gambia possible starting lineup:
Gaye; Sundberg, Gomez, O. Colley, Sanneh; Manneh, Adams, Barry; Barrow, Ceesay, E. Colley
Ivory Coast possible starting lineup:
Gbohouo; Aurier, Bailly, Deli, Konan; Kessie, Seri, Sangare; Fofana, Haller, Zaha